AMT Automag - Marushin
A few years ago I waited excitedly for Marushin to release their NBB AMT Automag.
Made famous as Dirty Harry's handgun in Sudden Impact, it was a big, legendary (even ignoring it's Clint connection) handgun, but despite being very powerful and impressively marked, the Marushin NBB was a big disappointment to me in airsoft form and I sold it within weeks.
Marushin surprised much of the market in 2006 by releasing GBB version of a number of guns, including a SIG P210, a select fire Mauser 712 and this, the AMT Automag GBB.
There is a black version of this gun too, but the silver one (real Automags were all stainless steel and only ever silver) is what I got hold of for review and my favourite of the two variants.
In the Box
And what a box!
The black gun comes in a basic box, but the silver gun comes in a box with black and white images of the inside, but open the cardboard outer up and you will find a smart aluminium gun case.
Secured with two catches, the case opens to reveal the big Automag, sandwiched between eggcrate foam.
Along with the gun there are the usual collection of manuals (all in Japanese, of course), a few BBs and an allen key to adjust the hop-up.
The Automag is 330mm long, over a foot of gun more than half of which is the frame.
In silver the body is impressive at first sight. The silver finish looks quite realistic to stainless steel, but the grips are Marushin-trademark cheap looking, sadly, and only a bit of woodworking is likely to yield any real wood replacements.
The AMT markings are deep and clear and the Marushin ones (as ever) subtle and discrete.
This gun fires Marushins 8mm BBs like most of their GBBs and recent NBBs and revolvers (the SIG P210 comes in 6mm form as well as 8mm, as does the latest FN 5-7), which is in keeping with the hand cannon style of the gun, but limits its appeal to skirmishers (Though to be fair it's hardly a pistol you could pack in a cross draw vest!).
Metal parts include the hammer, trigger, entire bolt mechanism, take down lever, mag release and sights.
The silver body is impressive at first sight. The finish looks quite realistic to stainless steel, but the grips are extremely fake in appearance.
The AMT markings are deep and clear and the Marushin ones quite subtle and discrete. On the left side of the upper receiver the gun is marked with the AMT logo and AUTO MAG with .44 AMP MODEL 280, COVINA CALIF. and PATENTED below it in smaller text. The right side of the upper receiver is marked MFG MARUSHIN. There is also an ASGK mark on the right of the trigger guard.
The gun’s long barrel is nicely replicated and features the shotgun-like ribbing, which (by all accounts) was more for visual effect than to serve any real purpose. There are grooves along the top of the strip which runs along the top of the ribbing, to reduce reflection along the sights.
The front sight is plain and fixed, whilst the rear are equally plain, but adjust for elevation and windage.
The grips are supposed to look like dark wood, but this an area where Marushin always lags badly behind the competition and the finish is really quite poor, looking like what it is; plastic badly painted to represent wood grain. The chequering is quite well moulded, so it seems strange they didn’t just paint the grips black as this is the finish many really Automags seem to possess. Sadly, I have never seen aftermarket grips specifically for the Automags and real steel grips just do not exist.
The grips are fitted with nice flush fitted hex headed bolts. The rear of the grip part of the frame features vertical grooves, but the front is (correctly) smooth. The actual reach to the trigger is not too bad, as the frame is quite narrow, accommodating only a single stacker magazine (7 rounds in the real thing, 10 8mm BBs in the airsoft replica).
Generally, the external finish of the gun is very good, but there are one or two odd mould marks (anyone familiar with model kits will recognize the small circles on the left side, one hidden by the cocking ‘ear’ and the other below it on the frame), which rather spoil the overall effect, especially as Marushin seem to have to gone to some lengths to avoid seam marks elsewhere.
Although the frame and barrel are all ABS, metal parts are plentiful, including the hammer, trigger, takedown lever, safety (for the right thumb only), bolt lock, magazine release, sights and the entire bolt mechanism.
The bolt assembly is impressively complete in its appearance (the exploded diagram for the Marushin is remarkably close to that of the real AMT Automag generally), but a little rough in its casting which I cannot believe is true of the real thing, but that maybe the unavoidable difference of using Zinc instead of the original Stainless steel.
With the gun apart, you can see just how much metal there is in the gun – Every stressed internal part is metal. The frame looks very much like an AEG gearbox with the upper receiver and barrel removed. With the bolt locked back (which it does when the magazine is emptied, as you would expect) the huge extraction port is almost completely clear, with just a view of the loading nozzle to let you know this is an airsoft gun.
The hammer has a nice machined look to it and the other metal controls also look well cast with a good even paint finish.
This gun fires Marushins proprietary 8mm BBs like most of their GBBs and recent NBBs and revolvers (their SIG P210 comes in 6mm form as well as 8mm, as does the latest FN 5-7), which is in keeping with the hand cannon style of the gun, but limits its appeal to skirmishers. To be fair, though, it's hardly a pistol you could pack in a cross draw vest!
The AMT Automag is an interesting handgun in both ‘real steel’ and airsoft form because, unlike most semi-automatics, it doesn’t use a moving top slide, popularized by John Browning’s classic 1911 design.
Instead, to deal with the huge pressures available from the cutdown rifle cartridges, the Automag was designed with a bolt which rotates and locks into place in the upper receiver as it moves forward and chambers the round. The modern day Desert Eagle handgun has a similar system, but uses a moving external slide to enclose the bolt. In this respect the Automag is more akin to something like the M14 rifle than a 1911 handgun.
The bolt features two ‘ears’ at the rear which need to be pulled back to cock the gun by pulling back the bolt and then letting it return to battery as the recoil spring decompresses. Fortunately the effort required is nothing like that of the real gun.
Once cocked, the trigger is pulled, the gun fires and the bolt cycles like a slide to chamber the next round. Because the whole bolt assembly is metal, there is quite a noticeable kick to the Automag, which was surprising (given how little of the gun is a moving part) but pleasing (given the style and reputation of the gun it replicates).
Above: The cycling operation of the real steel Automag - Note how the whole upper receiver moves back in the frame.
The entire upper receiver and barrel moves as a piece initially on firing, too, in a way very reminiscent of a Luger, which is probably the only other airsoft GBB that is so distinctive in its action.
So how does it shoot?
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the Automag put 5 of its big 8mm (.27g) BBs into a 50mm diameter.
Not exceptional, by any means (maybe even disappointing with such a long barrel), but usable.
Over 10 shots, the AMT Automag averaged 194 fps (using Propane gas) indoors (at 14C), with a .34g BB.
To be fair, this equates to around .72J (similar power to a TM Colt 1911), but there's no denying the BBs are relatively slow moving.
Trigger pull was 895g (32 Oz), which is a medium weight pull for a GBB.
Take down is pretty simple.
With the magazine removed, the assembly lever on the left side of the frame is pushed down and the entire barrel and upper receiver slide forward off of the frame.
Reassembly is a case of sliding the barrel/receiver assembly back onto the frame (lifting the rear sight to do so) and moving the assembly lever back into the locked position.
Whilst a good looking (grips excepted) and highly unusual airsoft replica which is great fun to shoot after all the ‘me too’ GBBs which too often feel just like the rest, the Marushin AMT Automag is a curiosity for those who appreciate unusual and original design.
It makes an attractive and interesting addition to a collection and will appeal to those with enthusiasm for the Dirty Harry movies, but only the really determined would take one out on the skirmish field.
Grips - November 2008
Gunnman got in touch with me on Arnies to discuss options on grips for the Marushin Automag.
I was reading your review on the Marushin Auto Mag, and like a lot of people, you say that replacement grips don't exist. Well, it's true that NO ONE makes replacement grips for the Marushin, but there are a few people that make replica grips for the real Automag(And most of them fit).
To begin with, there are the cheap replica vintage grips. Nothing special, but they are more solid that the crappy Marushin wanna-be faux wood grips. They fit the Marushin with no modifacations and they look a bit better than the stock ones, and they are pretty cheap at $24USD.
After that, you have custom grips by Bruce Stark. They are seen mostly on Ebay and cost a pretty penny, but they are pretty high quality
Sadly, there are no real wood replica grips. Only wood grips on the market are the Lee jurras versions, which are around $500USD(!!!).
If you're lucky, you can find people selling a pair of wood grips from Marushin's model gun Auto Mag separately on Yahoo Japan, but those are as rare as the RS wood grips...
SM - A search for other AMT Automag grips on eBay.com yielded those in the photo below,which further searching, identified as being from Grips4u.net.
Photos on their site make the grips (both these engraved ones and some plainer wooden ones, which I prefer) look very good.
I can't vouch that these will fit the Marushin GBB though - Perhaps Grips4u.net would like to send me some to check? ;)
Weight : 1,080g (255g Magazine)
Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : ***
Accuracy : ***
Back to the Homepage